April 5, 2005

14th annual Africa conference to examine
peacemaking and development efforts

The fate of post-genocide Rwanda and a keynote address by an international expert on African development and U.S. foreign policy toward Africa will be two of the highlights of the 14th annual Africa Diaspora Conference from April 28 to 30 at Sacramento State’s University Union.

The conference, “Contemporary Critical Issues in African Development,” will feature panel discussions by academics and policy experts from Sacramento State and other universities and research organizations in the United States, Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The conference is presented by the University’s Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution and Pan-African Studies Program.

Two panel discussions will focus on efforts to rebuild Rwanda following the 1994 ethnic violence between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples that left 800,000 Rwandan citizens dead.

“There’s a concern in some quarters that another genocide in Rwanda is possible,” explains Ernest Uwazie, Sacramento State criminal justice professor and conference director. “We’ll examine the efforts at national reconciliation and economic reconstruction in post-genocide Rwanda, and suggest new directions for prevention of future genocide.”

John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, a Washington D.C.-based multinational nonprofit organization devoted to the prevention of conflict and warfare, will discuss the conference theme in a keynote address on Friday, April 29. A special advisor to the organization’s president, Prendergrast served as an Africa expert in the Clinton administration from 1996 to 2001.

The keynote address will be followed by a discussion among seven Sacramento State professors and administrators about their efforts to build partnerships with five universities in Cote D’Ivoire in West Africa.

Other conference sessions will focus on family and health education; African women, education and human rights; global power relations and conflict resolution; agriculture and economic development; and the challenges facing African families living in Sacramento.

On Saturday, April 30, the conference will close with the annual Peace Award ceremony and dinner in the University Union Ballroom. This year’s award recipients are David Covin, Sacramento State professor and past director of the Pan-African Studies Program, and Rep. Barbara Lee, an Oakland Democrat serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

More information from the conference is available by calling (916) 278-6282. Media assistance is available from the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu